Homilies

Mass for the Feast of Pentecost 18 May 2013

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE, ON SUNDAY, 18TH MAY 2013 AT 11.00 A.M. FOR THE FEAST OF PENTECOST

My dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
Today, as the Father sent him, Jesus is sending us accompanied by the grace of the Holy Spirit. In the Year of Grace, we have seen more of how God works in mysterious ways in our lives and leads us to fully acknowledge who he is.  His grace makes us holy; his grace is with us in everything we do.  Today we turn to the Holy Spirit, Lord of light, Father of the poor, great comforter, light of God, renewer of strength, renewer and healer, with power to melt the frozen, warm the chill and fill us with love.
 
Some of our community are coming forward to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. St Paul described the coming of the Holy Spirit as the love of God poured into our hearts which, as Jesus said, will remain with us forever.  Those who are being confirmed will be given the gifts of wisdom, understanding, right judgement, knowledge, courage, reverence, and wonder and awe in our God who is near.

Throughout the Church in Australia today we thank God for the Year of Grace, which reminds us that it is only with God working in us and with us that our lives can change and we can grow to be the people he has asked us to be.  Every step we take on our earthly journey is accompanied by God.  That is why we pray that the Holy Spirit will fill our hearts and kindle in us the fire of his love, as we are sent out with the Holy Spirit with our sins forgiven and as witnesses to the Resurrection.
 
St Paul reminds us that our gifts are varied. The service we can perform is unique. The same God works in different people in a great variety of ways.  We depend on each other and we thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit who comes to be with us, to make new the face of the earth.
 
We are a people filled with hope, made new with new strength, because our God is near. Each of us sent by God has a special gift that we can use.
 
As we pray to God thanking him for the gift of grace, we remember how we do depend on each other and how the fullness of Christian love, shown us by God, is being there for each other, forgiven, hope-filled witnesses, loving God, keeping his word and, despite the challenges of everyday living, therein finding true happiness.  The Holy Spirit will teach us everything and as we reflect on our faith, will remind us of all that Jesus has said.
 
Pentecost is truly a feast of memory, an openness to God working in our lives, a hope and joy for the future because God is our Father.  We are his loved sons and daughters whom he trusts limitlessly and whom he draws forward to the new life that only he can give.  May this life and love descend on us and all those confirmed today, carrying us forward in new life and new hope.
 
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.
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